Christie Institute for Public Policy Hosts Inaugural Lecture at Seton Hall Law
There was standing room only for the crowd in Seton Hall Law’s Larson Auditorium on September 26 when the recently created Christie Institute for Public Policy held its inaugural lecture. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin C.Ss.R of the Archdiocese of Newark delivered the invocation. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ’87 hosted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a discussion that highlighted the governors’ successful collaboration on a range of issues confronting New York and New Jersey.
The two governors shared the story of their first meeting over dinner, where they recognized their similarities and gained a mutual respect. They gave insight on their personal and professional relationship and how they were able to put aside party politics to collaborate for their constituents’ benefit. They cited Superstorm Sandy recovery, growth of the Port Authority and infrastructure projects as moments of collaboration.
Bill Palatucci ’89, chair of the Institute, said of the discussion, “Our inaugural event with Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo illustrated the exact type of leadership which is possible when officials from different parties really want to accomplish big things. The rapport between the two governors was obvious, who teased each other about their many differences, but admitted willingness to put those differences aside for the major issues of infrastructure needs and the recovery following Superstorm Sandy.”
The Institute aims to foster collaboration and to provide a platform for nonpartisan discussions like this on topical public policy issues. Michele Brown, executive director, explains, “The Christie Institute was founded to provide a forum for open discussions of matters of national significance. Our inaugural event with Govs. Christie and Cuomo drew a wide audience, including members of the federal and state bench, current and former elected officials, a wide array of business and law firm leaders, educators, and significant representation from the Seton Hall Law student body. The evening’s topic - how to restore bipartisanship into the national discourse - is of interest to everyone who values our democracy, and the governors’ discussion was interesting, engaging, warm, and funny. Next year, beginning in January, we will hold quarterly discussions with additional prominent leaders, and we welcome participation by Seton Hall Law alumni.”
The Institute’s core mission also includes the provision of scholarships and internships to Seton Hall Law students who are interested in public policy and public service.